With this being Towaliga County Line Baptist Church 170th Church Anniversary it is the right time to revisit the rich heritage and progress of our Church. In 1847 there were a people of one mind willing to band together and step out in faith and the promises of God and start this ministry in a place called “Buck Snort”. Considering the times of 1847, they represented a people that knew the value of coming together to worship God. Through the Lord’s inspiration, the land that our present structure sits on was donated in 1866 and the first church building was erected.
We can never thank God enough for the preachers that came along and worked to better the people by teaching and encouraging them. The records show several great men of God contributed to the progress and furthering of the Gospel. The first recorded Pastor was the late Rev. Clark Gilmore. Following his tenure of service, eight other Pastors shepherded this flock accomplishing much during their service. They are Rev. Jack Williams (1900-1912); Rev. J. S. Roberts (1912-unknown); Rev. E. O. Biviens (Year Unknown); Rev. J H. Lockette (1938-1940); Rev. I. S. Jester (1940-1963); Rev. Saint John Clark (1963-1969); Rev. F. L. Harris (1969-1983); and Rev. Dr. Eddie F. Collier (1983-Present).
Pastor Collier has served this congregation for some 34 years. During his tenure, Towaliga has continued its ongoing mission of being “a servant both in this community and throughout the world”. By the grace of God, Pastor Collier teaches and preaches the WORD and continues to lead Towaliga to higher heights.
Throughout the twentieth century and into the twentieth first century we did “Great and Mighty” things. In 1986 we succeeded in burning the Church Mortgage. A major renovation of the interior and exterior took place. In 1994 a Ground Breaking Ceremony was held for the construction of a new church building. Construction began September, 1994 and June 1995 construction of the new church was completed. Sunday, June 25, 1995, Pastor Collier led his proud congregation in a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony prior to marching into the new sanctuary. On this joyous occasion more the 1,000 members and friends filled the sanctuary with shouts of joy as we praised and thanked the Lord for this blessing. The former sanctuary is now known as the Christian Education Department. Despite the economic downturn in 2009 Towaliga was blessed to invest in a significant renovation project to both the Sanctuary and the Christian Education building. New windows were installed, hardwood floors, new carpeting, new roof, baptismal pool relocated and many other wonderful additions. In May, 2015 a Ground Breaking Ceremony was held for the addition of a $1.2 million dollar new Sanctuary. Plans are being finalized and construction will begin soon. We have been blessed to continue adding to the building fund.
Throughout time Towaliga has continued on its mission of reach men throughout the community – the church has a Media Ministry (radio, television, tape, website, monthly newsletter). The Food pantry and Clothing bank now known as “Second Chance Ministry” were established to support the less fortunate, not only during the holidays, but throughout the year as well, which is another means of the Church’s Outreach Ministry. Every other week the church receives and distributes bread and pastries to the church family and others throughout the community.
The Gospels are filled with stories of Jesus healing people from the blind and lame to the deaf and brokenhearted. Healing and wellness were important aspects of Jesus’ ministry. Toward that end, the Church recently launched a Wellness Ministry which seeks to foster health and wellbeing among members of the church and the community.
Other accomplishments over the past year include the erection of a new parking shed for the church vans located at the Administration building. A dedicated library/computer lab has been added to the main church building. A Marketing ministry was born – it allows the church to outreach through social media; thereby giving others an opportunity to get to know us.
A Minister’s ordination service was held in September 2016 and several ministers became ordained preachers. Also the church held their first Unity Day service, the 8:00 a.m. worshippers and 11:00 a.m. worshippers all joined for one worship service. What a great fellowship.
In December of 2016 the church family was blessed to enjoy and fellowship at our first Christmas Social, plans are being made to make this an annual event.
Adams & Adams Law firm gifted Towaliga with a parcel of land known as Tract “C” containing an acre of land. Property is located directly across the street from the Christian Education building.
God has given Towaliga County Line Baptist Church a shepherd after His own heart and rewarded him with armor bearers in the persons of Rev. Maxie Ellis, Jr., Minister Emmanuel Clowers, Minister Gloria Whitmore, Minister Wanda Crowder, Minister Veronica Smith, Minister James Smith, Minister Prince Arnold, Minister Erma Rogers, Minister Dexter Jordan, Minister Vickie Head, Minister Clinton Harris, Minister Alvin Richardson, Minister Gwendolyn Davis, Minister Pat Gaston, Minister Lorenzo Law, Minister Diane Fort, Minister Carrie Daniely, Minister Winfred Akins, Minister Charmanee Weaver, Minister Jonathan Thomas, Minister Kimberly McMullen, Minister Marcus Taylor, Minister Maury Webb, Minister Jason Russell, Minister Jesse Anthony, Minister Mary Joseph, Minister Steve Head, Minister Walter Lott, Minister Tim Davis and Minister David Watts. (Deceased – Minister Jerry Murphy, Minister Ernest Phinazee, Minister Larry Newton, Minster Sandy Starks, Minster Robert Watts, Minster Wayne Ellis and Minister Nora Bell Jester)
As I think about our congregation, I see a congregation that want to learn and live the word of God in their everyday life. I see a congregation that is a church family always coming to the aid of other members and the community. I see a community that continues the traditions of Towaliga County Line Baptist Church. Understanding that it takes a unified effort to grow the ministry and draw others to Christ.
As maturing Christians, God calls us to be people of “Total Commitment”, first to him and then to others. Jesus is telling us that every fiber of our being, every facet of our lives must be committed to loving and serving God. There are numerous references in the Bible addressing the Christian’s commitment in various aspects of life; to our families, our neighbors, employers, the church, our health, and in all things we do and say. But the Bible teaches that the chief commitment of our lives is to God Himself. Members are encouraged to consider committing to one of the many ministries in our Church. Some of those ministries are Brotherhood, Sisters of Integrity, Praise Team, Ushers ministry, Youth Ministry, Kitchen team, Mothers Ministry, Deaconess Ministry, Food and Clothing pantry ministry, Christian Education and a host of others.
As God’s Word declares, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, all these things shall be added unto you” the Christian soldiers of old first sought the Lord for themselves, shared their experiences with others, then watched God perform His Word. Through the existing years of this Church, God continues to bless us with the things we need. We are thankful for the many blessings God has provided us under our current Pastor Rev. Dr. Eddie F. Collier. He has allowed us to add and beautify His sanctuary and surrounding properties. Greater than the physical or natural miracles, God continues to save, restore and renew the lives of men and adding to the church daily. We are blessed to have a church with a firm foundation, function and future.